In the ever-evolving world of travel marketing, metasearch has emerged as a game-changing tool for hotel chains. It provides travelers with a platform to compare hotel prices and options, making it an essential resource for those who have narrowed down their travel plans and are ready to book.
Not only does metasearch drive additional qualified traffic, but it also boasts high conversion rates. What’s more, it holds the promise of being a critical channel in the future, as it does not rely on third-party cookies that will become obsolete in 2024. By leveraging metasearch, hotel chains can secure direct bookings on their brand websites, thereby owning the customer relationship, capturing valuable first-party data, and creating exceptional customer experiences.
Let’s dive deeper into the benefits and business value that metasearch marketing brings to hotel chains.
Benefits of Metasearch Marketing for Hotel Chains
Attract New Customers through Metasearch Channels
Metasearch users are adventurous and eager to explore new experiences. They actively seek a hotel that aligns with their unique needs, making them open to trying different brands. This means that many bookings made through metasearch channels come from new customers. Therefore, metasearch becomes a powerful driver of incremental traffic and expands your customer base.
Drive Direct Bookings with Metasearch Marketing
Once a potential guest discovers your hotel listing through metasearch, you, as the advertiser, gain control over the customer experience. This presents a golden opportunity to build a meaningful relationship and encourage direct bookings, eliminating the need for intermediaries such as resellers or travel agencies. By fostering a direct booking environment, hotel chains can maximize revenue and strengthen their brand presence.
Improve Marketing Efficiency with Metasearch Campaigns
Metasearch is known to be one of the most efficient digital acquisition channels available to hotel chains. With effective management and strategy, metasearch campaigns enhance the efficiency of your overall digital marketing investment. This, in turn, leads to a higher impact and a reliable return on ad spend, allowing you to optimize your marketing resources.
Prevent Bleeding Money on Booking Commissions
The way guests search for hotel rooms online has changed dramatically. If your direct prices do not appear in metasearch results, or if you find that your rates are consistently undercut by online travel agencies (OTAs), you will continue to pay high commissions on bookings that you could have won directly. However, with a well-executed metasearch management solution, you can reduce your reliance on OTAs and gain more control over acquiring new guests.
Acquire Guests Efficiently and Cost-Effectively
Metasearch has earned a reputation for being an expensive channel, but when used intelligently, it can deliver a greater return on investment than OTAs. Additionally, every metasearch booking is valuable not only for the initial transaction but also for the potential lifetime value of the guest. By capturing guests through metasearch, hotel chains gain complete ownership of the booking and can immediately begin building a lasting relationship with the guest, nurturing future loyalty and repeat visits.
Now that we’ve explored the benefits, let’s discuss some key features to consider when selecting a metasearch solution.
Key Considerations while Choosing a Metasearch Solution
Seamless Integration & Connectivity
To ensure a seamless experience, it’s crucial to choose a vendor that offers the right integrations. These integrations should support your team’s success and adapt to any new requirements set by meta channels. Without proper distribution and connectivity, your visibility and quality scores may suffer.
Robust Reporting of Metasearch Campaigns
Metasearch campaigns generate vast amounts of data, often consisting of hundreds of thousands of data points and complex bidding layers. To effectively navigate this wealth of information, you need access to robust reporting tools. These tools should be customizable, align with your internal metrics and business goals, and provide insights that drive informed decision-making.
Custom Labels for Metasearch Marketing Campaigns
When managing metasearch campaigns for numerous properties, labeling, or tagging features become essential. They allow campaign managers to automate and group properties based on custom values. Labels provide a valuable organizational tool for your campaigns and enable the identification of trends and patterns.
Property Content Management
Detailed reporting informed by rich property-level data is a game-changer for hotel chains. It adds geographic context to broader reports and facilitates granular analysis by incorporating specific hotel attributes. By leveraging property content management capabilities, you can gain valuable insights into your marketing performance.
Audience targeting is a vital aspect of successful metasearch campaigns. The ability to segment your campaigns by specific customer groups or demographics is crucial for reaching your target audience effectively. Look for a metasearch solution that empowers you to tailor your ads to the right customers at the right time.
Real-time Bid Updates Based on Full-Funnel Data
While hotels may not be able to match the budget of OTAs, they can compete by understanding their guests better and applying this knowledge to bidding strategies. Intelligent metasearch software allows for real-time bid updates based on onsite behavioral data and insights into the value of each trip. This approach ensures that you bid appropriately to attract the right guests at the right price, driving high-volume traffic while maintaining a strong return on ad spend.
It’s essential for hotels to avoid paying to advertise rates that are lower on OTAs. By incorporating live parity data into your bidding strategy, you can bid confidently knowing that you are offering the best rate. This approach maximizes bid efficiency and protects your brand’s integrity.
In conclusion, metasearch is an invaluable tool for hotel chains aiming to generate direct bookings and position themselves in front of travelers at the moment they are ready to make a booking decision. To ensure a seamless and successful metasearch marketing strategy, it is crucial to choose the right software solution that offers connectivity, robust reporting, customizable targeting and bidding capabilities, and the ability to optimize bids in real time.
About the Author
VP – Commercial, Europe